All too often when we talk about the NBA, we talk about the players' personal lives in a negative light. I hear the terms "thug" and "gangster" thrown around regularly.
It's partly because of the image that has now grown to be associated with NBA culture, with everything from long shorts that became popular in the '90s to basketball jerseys littering rap videos, and it's partly because the NBA has the most recognizable athletes in the country, because they don't wear football pads or hats.
Still, I find that reputation to be unjustly placed on a league that has been full of (for the most part) good, honest and respectful people.
Even the bad eggs in the basket have had their inspirational moments.
We often look at sports and sensationalize what's going on, but the problem is that we tend to look at the negative side. Well I'd like to sensationalize the positive side for a moment here.
I want to look at the most inspirational players of the past 60-plus years of basketball history and see what they have done for the world, their community or just for themselves.
Now, you may not agree with some of the things that some of these players did (like refusing to stand up for the National Anthem or backing Muhammad Ali's decision to dodge the draft), but it's hard to deny that these players taking a stand for what they believe in is anything but inspirational.